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A False Tree of LibertyHuman Rights in Radical Thought$
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Susan Marks

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675456

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199675456.001.0001

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Does Nature Confer Rights?

Does Nature Confer Rights?

Chapter:
(p.183) 8 Does Nature Confer Rights?
Source:
A False Tree of Liberty
Author(s):

Susan Marks

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199675456.003.0008

This chapter takes Hannah Arendt’s engagement with Edmund Burke in Origins of Totalitarianism as a starting-point for considering the interrelation in the Revolution controversy of nature, history, and rights. Evidence is presented of a mode of argumentation that is (by today’s standards) eclectic and historicising. Thus, the rights of man were at once natural and historical, and while Thomas Paine asserted the novelty of their study, Thomas Spence framed his exposition of the ‘real rights of man’ with reference to an older tradition that links him to the people and events touched on in earlier chapters of this book.

Keywords:   rights of man, Hannah Arendt, Edmund Burke, George Dyer, Thomas Spence

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